Sorcery!

by Steve Jackson and inkle

Episode 1 of Steve Jackson's Sorcery!
Fantasy, RPG
2013

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Number of Ratings: 33
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- Lance Campbell (United States), March 3, 2022

- Joakin Thorne (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), June 19, 2021

- Sayeth (Lexington, KY), April 9, 2020

- dtaggart919, October 3, 2019

- Durafen, September 18, 2019

- lunaterra (Atlanta, GA, USA), May 10, 2019

- Elternabend, April 10, 2019

- Yit (NY), February 5, 2019

- Spike, December 15, 2018

- Bartlebooth, December 8, 2018

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
A fine but inessential start of the series, July 14, 2018
by Victor Gijsbers (The Netherlands)

The Sorcery! games are recreations of four of Steve Jackson's Fighting Fantasy gamebooks. In this first instalment of the series, the gamebook origins are still quite obvious: you journey through a rather literal 'garden of forking paths', making relatively unmotivated choices between one road and another, and dealing with the creatures and situations that you happen to come across. Continuity is provided mostly through your inventory and health. If you find a giant's tooth here, you'll be able to use it later; if you lose much health in this fight, you might not survive the next. Otherwise there is little in the way of a coherent narrative to bind all the events together.

This means that at bottom the game is a learn-from-previous-attempts exercise in optimisation. You won't be able to follow all paths; some paths are more lucrative or less dangerous than others; some paths may open new options later; and the challenge is to find a way through the game that gets you to the end with a maximum of useful items (to be used in the next part of the series).

Of course, in the original gamebooks, the challenge was less one of optimisation and more one of survival. Death could come swiftly and unexpectedly, and the non-cheating player would usually need many playthroughs to achieve victory. However, the electronic Sorcery! makes some very welcome changes to the original format. Combat is less random and the game allows you to redo fights if they went badly. If that isn't enough, there is a handy system for going back to any previous point in the game. While this makes Sorcery! much easier than the book on which it is based, this is a welcome change -- especially if you are not a kid in the 80's with limited access to games and limitless amounts of free time.

Sorcery! looks quite beautiful even on a mobile phone, even though the modern art doesn't mesh that well with the original pictures from the gamebooks. (I would have preferred to see this original 'ugly' style of fantasy, where people are likely to be dressed in rags and deformed by diseases, throughout the game.) The writing is good, though nor particularly distinctive.

Should you play Sorcery!? If you have any fondness for gamebooks, or just enjoy a nice combat-filled fantasy romp, the answer is probably affirmative. (I bought the game for 5.49 euros, and that seems okay.) But the best reason for playing Sorcery! is that it is a good introduction to Sorcery! 2, a game that is much, much better, and that I would wholeheartedly recommend.


- DustyCypress (Hong Kong), May 19, 2018

- DoctorFury (Ohio), April 20, 2018

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Back to classic!, April 18, 2018
by Ikkipass (United Kingdom)

Man this was a blast to the past. Definitely reckon that this is a new and brilliant way to relive the joys of the old fighting fantasy game books.
Way too much fun, highly recommend it.


- Artran (Prague, Czech Republic), January 23, 2018

- jakomo, September 21, 2017

- jamesb (Lexington, Kentucky), August 29, 2017

- Mxxie, May 16, 2017

- Laney Berry, May 15, 2017

- TheAncientOne, March 25, 2017

- mr.jones, July 17, 2016

- qirien (Albuquerque, NM), May 2, 2016

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A beautifully gorgeous text game with excellent combat/magic systems, February 4, 2016
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 1 hour

These games are an adaptation of a series of gamebooks, i.e. paper CYOA books. They must have been absolutely incredible, because this game is rich in detail and options. The game is played on a large 3d-map which you place a DND miniature-type figure on, moving it around to indicate your choice of route (between 2 or 3 options at a time).

You have stamina, gold, rations, spells, etc. The spells are cast by using up some stamina and selecting 3-letter words out of a cloud of letters. The available words differ quite a bit from situation to situation.

The combat system involves guessing a number at the same time as your opponent, trying to beat them without using up too much of your strength. It ends up being a sort of dance between attack and defend.

There are numerous side quests; the main quest can be finished extremely quickly, while one side quest took up an hour of gameplay by itself.

Highly, highly recommended.


- Trobairitz (USA), October 28, 2015

- audiolipbalm, June 17, 2015


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